It’s a tough decision: what to be for Halloween. Well, finally she decided and I bet she’ll be the only rainbow turtle out there. Yep…a rainbow turtle. She then decided to be Queen Rainbow Turtle. My next project will be the crown. For now, I have a tutorial on the turtle costume for you. Of course, you don’t have to make it rainbow colored; make it any color you would like. This was very easy to create and made a little girl very happy. I hope this tutorial for this turtle vest will be helpful to you. Let’s dive right in.
- 3/4 yd. felt yardage (I used scraps I already had–gray and navy)
- 6 felt sheets of 6 different colors ( they generally are 9″x12″ found in craft and sewing stores. I actually got mine on clearance at the grocery store!)
- Approximately 6 oz. polyester fiberfill
- 2 large snaps or closure of your choice
- about 2/3 yd. each of 6 colors of trim (for vest front)
- fabric glue or adhesive of choice to hold hexagons in place for sewing (bonding sheets like Heat N’ Bond would work well here, then you could skip the sewing). Note: I tried a fabric glue stick and it didn’t work on felt. Pick something that will not gum up your sewing machine.
- Miscellaneous:sewing machine, needle, thread, pins, template for a 2″ hexagon
- Cut out vest pieces from felt yardage. For this, I had a pattern for a child’s dress and I laid the bodice pieces on the felt and roughly cut out two fronts and one back piece. I added about 1″ to each front to make room for overlap when using the snap closure. If you don’t have a pattern, just use a shirt of the costume recipient , lay it down on the felt and roughly cut around the shirt (not including the sleeves). Don’t sew just yet.
2. Cut out shell pieces from felt yardage. The bottom (small) shell piece should be an oval about 15″x 17″. The top (large)shell piece should be around 20″x 22″. I was using scraps, so in the picture, the bottom shell piece is gray and the top shell piece is navy. Mark both pieces at the center of each side and the center of each top/bottom. You will need these marks when sewing the two shell pieces together.
3. Lay bottom shell piece over vest back, centering. Pin together. Roughly mark a rounded square shape, making sure you are within the confines of the vest back underneath. You may use any marking tool; this will not show. Sew on your marked line. This shell piece is the right side of the vest back.
4. Sew miscellaneous trim onto both vest halves, making sure they will meet when vest is closed. (This is a Halloween costume–go ahead and glue these if you wish). Sew on snaps or closure of choice.
5. Sew vest side seams. Sew vest shoulder seams. Make sure pieces are oriented correctly. You will have a vest with the bottom part of the shell attached to the back. Please note: the picture doesn’t show the trim attached.
6. Let’s get those hexies cut out. You may have to do a search and download and print a hexagon. I had a quilt book where I–unbelievably–found a template just the right size. I used 2″ hexagons. I traced it from the book onto printer paper, cut it out and pinned it to the felt. I cut out two at a time. Cut out 6 each of 6 colors for a total of 36 hexagons.
If using something like Heat N’ Bond, fuse at this point. No need to sew!
7. If you are sewing these down, to stabilize all these little pieces, lift up a couple edges of each one and glue down now. I used a tape runner, which worked like magic. (Yay!) You may choose to cut some hexagons in half for the edges of the shell.
8. Sew hexagons in straight lines vertically and then sew lines horizontally. Done. I got disoriented and accidentally sewed a diagonal line so I had to sew an intersecting diagonal line to make it look totally planned. Haha!
9. It’s time for the last step! Place top shell onto bottom shell. Line up your edge center markings. Pin at each of the four marks, making sure you don’t pin the vest itself, just pin the shell pieces. Starting at one of the marks, start sewing, making little pleats to even up the pieces. Sew around the entire edge, making pleats. Leave a 4″-5″ opening for stuffing. Stuff shell to desired fullness. Stitch opening shut. YOU ARE DONE!
My granddaughter just happened to have a “matching” hoodie to wear underneath. What fun!